Once again, we have Elden doing double-duty on articles, so a short tip this
month for DR650 riders.
We at Top Gun are pretty anal about our motorcycle maintenance. In the areas of
steering and suspension, we are especially so.
We avoid fork braces and annual steering bearing replacements by ensuring proper
steering adjustment, and are also very careful about fork alignment when installing the
front wheel. The axle has a step-down that contacts the speedo drive box. If not properly
lubed, the speedo box will rotate, causing the locating tab on the box to come in contact
with the locating tab on the fork with enough force to push the lower fork tube out of
alignment. At the very least, this will cause sticky fork action.
The cure for this is (thankfully) rather simple. Apply anti-seize to the axle step-down
before installing and torquing the axle. It also helps to hold the properly located speedo
box in position as you apply your final torque.
Don’t forget to torque the four 6mm axle cap nuts before you go riding.
Note: Don’t remove the axle cap on the right side during this procedure.